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Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)

The Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) supports clinically trained professionals who have made a commitment to focus on patient-oriented research. NCI K23 provides Clinician-Scientists with clinical duties protected time to develop cancer-focused patient-oriented research career.

Patient-Oriented Research is defined as research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator directly interacts with human subjects. This area of research includes:

  1. Mechanisms of human disease
  2. Therapeutic interventions
  3. Clinical trials
  4. The development of new technologies

Studies falling under Exemption 4 for human subjects research are not included in this definition. Individuals conducting mentored clinical research in Epidemiologic and Behavioral studies, and Outcomes research and health services research sciences should refer to the NCI K07, the "Prevention, Control, Behavioral and Population Sciences Career Development Award" or K08.

For more complete information, reference the Program Announcement and/or contact the program staff.

On this page:

Applicant Eligibility


At the time of the award, the candidate must be:

  • a citizen of the United States,
  • or a noncitizen national,
  • or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card (1-151 or 1-551) or some other verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.

Citizenship or green card is not needed to apply. Citizenship or green card is needed at the time of award issuance.

Foreign Nationals with Student VisasNot eligible for this award
Degree/Academic Appointment
  • Medical, clinical doctorates with active licensure and clinical duties
  • Ph.D with clinical certification and clinical duties
Effort Level/ CommitmentCandidate must commit a minimum of 9 calendar months (75%) of full-time professional effort to the K23 Career Development Award.
Duration of Award3-5 years; the K23 Award is not renewable


Financial Support
SalaryUp to $100K/year + fringe benefits
Research Development Support: Tuition/Fees, Books, Supplies/Equipment, Travel to Meetings, Technical Personnel, Statistical ServicesUp to $30K/year

F&A Costs/Indirect Costs


Ancillary Personnel Support: Salary for Mentors, Secretarial and Administrative Assistance, etc.Not allowed

How to Apply

  • Applicants must submit applications electronically – download the K23 Award application
  • Applicants must follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, as well as any program-specific instructions in PartI.7,  “Preparing an Individual Research Career Development Award (CDA) Application" and Section IV of the Program Announcement.
  • When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions.
  • Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

For assistance with application submission, please see the Frequently Asked Questions and/or contact eRA Commons Help Desk/ contact Center

Application Receipt Dates and Review Schedule
Receipt CycleReceipt Date: New ApplicationReceipt Date: Resubmission ApplicationInitial ReviewCouncil ReviewEarliest Possible Start Date*
1February 12March 12June/JulySeptember/OctoberDecember
2June 12July 12October/NovemberJanuary/FebruaryApril
3October 12November 12February/MarchMay/JuneJuly

* Start dates are determined by the availability of NCI funds and may not occur until well after the earliest possible start date.

Applications are due by 5 pm local time.

When a standard submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Review and Selection Process

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) review applications for completeness and for conformance to all eligibility requirements and special provisions and requirements. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.

Subcommittee J, convened by the Division of Extramural Activities of the NCI, evaluates applications according to the review criteria listed in the Program Announcement. Before an award is made, the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) conducts a second level of review and ensures that an application meets the broad program needs and priorities of the NCI and the National Cancer Program.

For review criteria for the K23 grant mechanism, see the Review Criteria section of the Program Announcement.

Find an overview of the grant process


NCI Staff Contacts

For additional information regarding policies and/or guidance in preparing an application for the K23 Award, contact:

For information regarding fiscal and/or budget issues, contact:

For information regarding review issues, contact:

  • Referral Officer
    Division of Extramural Activities
    Phone: 240-276-6390
    Fax: 240-276-7682

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  • Updated: June 23, 2014